Vodafone today reported a slowdown in first-quarter organic service revenue, with tough trading in Italy and Spain taking the shine off the final set of results delivered by outgoing boss Vittorio Colao. 

The world's second biggest mobile operator had warned that growth would slow at the start of the new financial year, but it reiterated its full-year cash and earnings targets. 

For the quarter, organic service revenue grew by 0.3% under its new IAS 18 accounting basis, slightly ahead of consensus forecasts at 0.2%. 

Using the old IFRS 15 system, it grew by 1.1%, down on the 1.6% growth it recorded last year. 

The results reflected some of the challenges that Colao, an Italian, has encountered in his ten years in charge - competition in Italy and Spain and an intense price war in India. 

Vodafone has merged its Indian unit with Idea Cellular Ltd in order to enable it to better compete. 

"The group's organic service revenue growth slowed during the first quarter, in line with expectations," Colao said. 

"The group's overall performance (including good progress in reducing absolute operating costs for the third year running) provides us with the confidence to reiterate our outlook for the year," he added.

Vodafone Ireland adds 50 Dublin jobs

Vodafone Ireland said its first quarter service revenue rose by 1.7% year on year to €238.6m.

The company said it also grew its mobile customer base over the quarter with 12,000 contract customers added, while its total fixed broadband customer numbers remained steady at 263,000.

It said its mobile data usage increased by 40.7% year on year to over 17.8 petabytes of mobile data.

The company said that SIRO, its joint venture with the ESB, has now passed over 160,000 premises and is live in 30 towns.

Anne O'Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland, said the first quarter was another positive period of progress for the company. 

"Our team has worked hard to build on the successes of previous quarters as we continue the implementation of our investment, innovation and transformation strategy," the CEO said.

Vodafone Ireland also recently announced 50 new jobs for its international sales team at its European Sales Centre 'Vodafone Red Edge' in Carrickmines in Dublin. 

The company said the new jobs will support its Global Enterprise Accounts covering the US, Northern Europe and Central and Eastern European markets.